This looks pretty convincing so I expect it took a few takes.
If you look on the right of frame there appears to be a structure made out of wood. Is this from a sequence in the film in which Cruise isn’t “playing along”? Has he gone AWOL from his duties? Might explain why he was prepared to shoot down the flying craft.
Square on to Cruise, with a pentagonal shape framing him. Remember this for later.
Lots of this film was shot in Iceland, if you couldn’t guess.
Now, this book is a copy of The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay. The page is turned to Horatius, the first poem. The oft-quoted, and most relevant passage is below the image.
Then out spake brave Horatius,
the Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods
What’s this contraption, screen right?
The most extreme of all of the proscenium shots.
The flashback, memory or dream, denoted by black and white – as is so often the case.
We’re near the Empire State Building here, I believe, as set pictures cropped up during shooting. Note how Cruise appears to be more or less the same age as in “the future.”
Note the tourist binoculars. This is our first look at Olga Kurylenko in the trailer. She looks back towards Tom…
…but he’s not there. There’s just a blur.
Now Jack Harper approaches the binoculars again, in the “present day” of the story. The rack focus from the binoculars to Harper is used to marry the shot to the previous one.
We don’t know why the ground is on fire, just yet.
Note how Riseborough is able to watch. What is the camera mounted on?
This thing has landed, intact, while everything else is wreckage. I assume it’s made out of the same stuff as Indiana Jones’ refrigerator.
As we get closer, we can see it’s marked with the word Odyssey. I think we can put together that some kind of spaceship called The Odyssey has crashed here, and this was onboard it. There are twin badges for NASA and Japan – but not JAXA, Japan’s version of NASA. I guess they’re not well known enough.
Riseborough on the far right of frame, lots of empty space to the left. Remember that.
It’s Olga Kurylenko. You can see a readout for her vitals and she seems to be doing fine. This is where we learn her name, or at least part of it: J. Rusakova.
He’s wearing his 49 jacket.
Straight on to the camera, surrounded by a polygonal shape. A similar strategy as to before. It’s a shot pretty similar to one in Mark Romanek’s video for Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson, which I’ve put below.
This shot of Kurylenko formally echoes the one of Riseborough from just a few seconds ago.
Note that she’s holding onto Cruise while he’s in an apparently darker jacket. Is this a flashback to before she was put in this thing?
Continued on the next page.